Poliarchie / Polyarchies 2014/1

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The paper aims at analyzing three Arab regimes which since 2011 have experienced mass protests. Before the outbreak of such protests, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria shared some common characteri¬stics which made these countries eligible for broad comparison: the existence of a hegemonic party, broad repressive apparatuses and an important public sector. By exploring the different rela¬tions between the state, the party and the military before the cri¬sis it should be possible to assess whether the establishment of a liberal democracy is a real perspective or not. How the properties of previous regimes impact on the eventual outcome of a politicai crisis is one of the most debated topics in the literature. As working hypotheses, we could pose that the limited role of the army is more likely to favor a democratic evolution in the Tunisian case, whereas the absent or even partial separation of the military from state and party institutions in the other two cases makes this per¬spective more uncertain.

Questo saggio analizza tre regimi arabi che a partire dal 2011 hanno conosciuto fenomeni di proteste di massa. Tunisia, Egitto e Siria condividevano, infatti, alcune caratteristiche che ne facilitano la comparazione: l’esistenza di un partito in posizione egemonica, l’estensione degli apparati repressivi e un settore pubblico importante. Analizzando l’intensità delle relazioni tra lo Stato, il partito e l’apparato militare prima della crisi è possibile, dunque, determinare le concrete possibilità di evoluzione verso una forma di democrazia liberale. Le eredità lasciate dal regime precedente sono, infatti, in letteratura uno dei fattori più importanti per le implicazioni successive. Il ruolo limitato dell’esercito, nel caso tunisino, e la sua separazione dal partito e dallo Stato rendono, dunque, questo caso più promettente.

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  • Publication
    Ruling Coalitions and Chances of Democratization in Arab Countries
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014-07-25)
    Battera, Federico
    The paper aims at analyzing three Arab regimes which since 2011 have experienced mass protests. Before the outbreak of such protests, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria shared some common characteristics which made these countries eligible for broad comparison: the existence of a hegemonic party, broad repressive apparatuses and an important public sector. By exploring the different relations between the state, the party and the military before the crisis it should be possible to assess whether the establishment of a liberal democracy is a real perspective or not. How the properties of previous regimes impact on the eventual outcome of a political crisis is one of the most debated topics in the literature. As working hypotheses, we could pose that the limited role of the army is more likely to favor a democratic evolution in the Tunisian case, whereas the absent or even partial separation of the military from state and party institutions in the other two cases makes this perspective more uncertain.
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